When you own your home, things are going to break and, unless you want to spend your money on visits from a neighborhood handyman, you’re going to need to fix them yourself. Luckily, you don’t need an arsenal of tools to handle most home maintenance fixes. These five tools will cover most of your basic projects.
- Cordless drill. A cordless drill is a must-have for installing cabinets, drawer pulls, hinges, picture frames, shelves and hooks, and more. Whether it’s for do-it-yourself projects or repairs, you’ll use your cordless drill just about every month.
- Drain cleaners. Shower and bathroom sink drains are susceptible to clogs because of the daily buildup of hair and whisker clippings. You can use chemical clog removers like Drano, but they’re expensive and the lingering chemical scent is unpleasant. Instead, buy some plastic drain cleaners that can reach into the drain to pull out the clog of hair and gunk. You can purchase them on Amazon or at a local hardware store for a low price.
- Shop-vac. No matter how careful you are, spills and accidents will happen and there are some tasks that just can’t be handled with paper towels or a standard vacuum, like pet messes or broken glass.
- Loppers. Even the minimum amount of care for your landscaping will require some loppers to remove damaged branches, vines, thick weeds, and any other unruly plants in your yard.
- Flashlight. You’re going to want something a little more powerful than your iPhone flashlight when you’re in the crawlspace!
As unfortunate as it can be when homeowners fall behind on mortgage payments and must face the possibility of losing their homes, short sales and foreclosures provide them options for moving on financially. The terms are often used interchangeably, but they’re actually quite different, with varying timelines and financial impact on the homeowner. Here’s a brief overview.
A short sale comes into play when a homeowner needs to sell their home but the home is worth less than the remaining balance that they owe. The lender can allow the homeowner to sell the home for less than the amount owed, freeing the homeowner from the financial predicament.
On the buyer side, short sales typically take three to four months to complete and many of the closing and repair costs are shifted from the seller to the lender.
On the other hand, a foreclosure occurs when a homeowner can no longer make payments on their home so the bank begins the process of repossessing it. A foreclosure usually moves much faster than a short sale and is more financially damaging to the homeowner.
After foreclosure the bank can sell the home in a foreclosure auction. For buyers, foreclosures are riskier than short sales, because homes are often bought sight unseen, with no inspection or warranty.
I don’t know about you but the one thing that I wish Moses Lake had more of is Modern Architecture. There is something about the clean lines that speaks to my OCD. Looking through these articles and seeing all these beautiful homes make me wish we had a builder in town who did more modern homes. Are you a fan of clean lines or would you rather stick with the craftsman style?
Every 23 seconds, a house is burgled in the United States, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Each break-in costs home owners an average of $2,200 in stolen personal goods and possessions.
A $250 to $700 home security system can provide a powerful deterrent: it sends the message that your house won’t be an easy target, and gives crooks a strong incentive to pick another place.
How a home security system works
A home security system works like this: a keypad in your house’s entryway communicates with sensors and motion detectors around the home. The brain of the system—the control panel—is installed in the attic or utility room.
If an intruder breaks a window or kicks in a door:
- The sensor sends signals to the control panel, which typically uses your phone line to contact an off-site monitoring station.
- Simultaneously, it sets off an ear-splitting siren within the house.
- Staffers call the house immediately and ask for a password.
- If there’s no response, or if the person who picks up the phone gives the wrong password, monitors will notify the police.
Types of installers
Once you’ve elected to invest in a home security system, you’ll need to decide whether to go with a national installer or a local company. Security experts recommend choosing a company with at least ten years’ experience. Either way, you’ll spend $35 to $75 per month on monitoring fees.
- National firms boast that their call centers are fully redundant, which means if a center in Oshkosh loses power, the Vancouver center will pick up the slack.
- Local installers are going to be close by, and those companies have an incentive to do a great job in order to maintain their reputation in the community.
- Full service companies—ones that operate and control all aspects of your home security system, from installation to service and monitoring—generally provide good personalized care and attention to detail.
Before you sign a contract:
- Talk to neighbors who own a home security system about their installer; if you’re new in town, ask firms for letters of reference.
- Choose a company that offers 24-hour repair service.
- Finally, educate yourself online before making a call; websites such as www.alarmsystemreviews.com offer useful information about home security systems.
Negotiation is a subtle art in real estate, but skilled negotiators can usually find some common ground that satisfies all parties. On the other hand, using the wrong negotiation tactics can sink a deal pretty quickly. Here are some negotiation tactics buyers (and real estate professionals) should avoid:
1. Lowball offers: Going far below market value when you make an offer damages your credibility as a buyer and can be insulting to the seller. The seller has a range in mind that they’ll accept, and if you’re not even approaching the low end of that range, they won’t even consider the offer.
2. Incremental negotiations: Don’t continue to go back to the seller with small increases in your offer ($1,000 or less). The constant back-and-forth can grow tiresome and lead the seller to consider other opportunities.
3. “Take it or leave it”: Try not to draw a line in the sand with your initial offer. The seller can get defensive and consider other offers if you immediately show that you’re unwilling to budge. Even if it’s true, don’t make a show of it.
4. Nitpicking after inspection: Obviously if inspection reveals a major issue, it should be factored into the final sale price. But insisting on a lower price for every minor repair can put negotiations in a stalemate.
5. Asking for more, more, more: Some buyers will request that the sellers throw in add-ons like furniture or appliances that weren’t included in the listing. Try to avoid giving the seller a reason to build up resentment and think that you’re being greedy.